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Do You Boo!

If you're part of our Instagram-fam, you already know our Ms. July, Tonya Richburg-Wilson.

Reiterating one of her favorite mottos, we lead this month's blog with Tonya's inspired message to "do you boo!"

And she practices what she preaches.

At 45, Tonya was diagnosed with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) considered the earliest form of breast cancer and invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC) considered the most common form of breast cancer making up 80% of all breast cancers.

As Tonya tells it, strong parental love encouraged her to fight with inspiration from her mother to ask God for healing and a loving reminder from her father to have grace and mercy.

Between her parents and her faith, Tonya suited up to face her treatment, which included a lumpectomy, removal of one lymphnode, and then another surgery for the removal of remaining margins.

For those who may not be familiar, margins refer to the edge - or rim - of normal tissue that remains, surrounding where the cancer was removed. At some point during or following surgery, a pathologist will examine this rim to make sure there are no remaining cancer cells present.

There are three variations of results that determine your next step. A clean report, also referred to as clear or negative, means that there are no remaining cancer cells and therefore generally no further surgery is needed. A positive report means cancer cells are still present and reach as far as the edge of where the tissue was removed. In this instance, surgery is most likely needed. However, the third variation would be a close report, which indicates that cancer cells are present and close to the edge of where tissue was removed - but not as close as in the previous instance of a positive report. If you receive a close report, while surgery may be needed, it is not as likely as the previous instance of a positive report.

For Tonya, after her surgeries, and the final removal of margins, she entered the next phase of treatment which included chemotherapy followed by daily radiation.

With such an enduring course of treatment, Tonya sharpened her focus on self-care and faith.

"I stay 'prayed-up' and took care of me first," she said. (FYI: We LOVE that!)